Red Bull could place two junior drivers in Super Formula in 2019

Red Bull could field two of its junior drivers in Super Formula next season, according to its motorsport advisor Helmut Marko

Red Bull could place two junior drivers in Super Formula in 2019

New Red Bull Formula 1 recruit Pierre Gasly raced in the Japanese single-seater championship last year and came close to winning the title, missing out by just half a point after the final round was cancelled due to a typhoon.

Marko said earlier this year that Gasly's Japan stint was "absolutely essential" as it allowed him to mature in an alien environment, while Gasly admitted the experience of working with Japanese engineers has helped him better communicate with Honda after his F1 move.

After paying a visit to Motegi last weekend to watch the fifth round of the Super Formula season, Marko said he would like to see more Red Bull proteges racing in Japan.

"We were taken by Pierre Gasly's performance in Super Formula last season," Marko told Super Formula's official website.

"He developed as both a person and driver while he was in Japan. And by coming to Japan, he gained a lot of confidence and also grew a lot.

"So that is why I wanted to come and check out Super Formula first-hand.

"The new car will also be coming out next season. The new car will have even more downforce and is faster than the current one.

"This has all led us to consider bringing in two Red Bull drivers to Super Formula next season. We feel that Super Formula is an even more competitive series than F2."

Marko said he is already in conversation with Honda motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto and plans to talk further at the Japanese Grand Prix in October.

"We haven't got that far yet," said Marko, when asked if he plans to start a new two-car squad or place his drivers at an existing team.

"I just started speaking to Yamamoto about that.

"I'm also speak to Yamamoto about it more in-depth around the time of the Japanese Grand Prix."

Red Bull has been considering Dan Ticktum as a possible replacement for Brendon Hartley at Toro Rosso in F1, although a lack of superlicense points mean he may have to spend another season in the junior ranks.

Ticktum contested two Super Formula races earlier this year with Mugen and said he would be open to a full campaign next season, when the series introduces its faster SF19 car that will reduce its pace deficit to F1 even further.

"To be honest I don't know the plan yet 100%," Ticktum said at Sugo in May when said about his 2019 plans.

"I could be anywhere next year. F2, here, F1, I don't know.

"The important thing for me is that I have to be prepared for whatever I'm doing. I would be very very happy to come back to Japan to be honest."

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